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Title: Environmental impact of a 1815 Tambora-style eruption in the modern World
Author: Kandlbauer, Jessica
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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In 1815, Tambora volcano produced one of the largest and deadliest explosive eruptions in the last 1000 years. What if this eruption were to happen today in the modern World? The grain size distribution of distal Tambora ash has been investigated on land and in the deep sea. Deep sea ash layers are well preserved and even the finest ash particles «10 microns) are present, which is particularly important as many volcanoes are located in vicinity of the sea. An improved atmospheric gravity current sedimentation model is presented, able to reproduce the measured grain size distribution and model the ash dispersal of the eruption, while taking into account the ash depositing once the eruption ceases. Ash thicknesses of these samples and from historical documentations were used to estimate eruption volumes. A number of methods combined estimate a volume of 45±5 km3 DRE, divided into 25±3 km3 DRE ash fall and 20±3 km3 DRE pyroclastic flow material. The ash fall is further divided into 10±3 Plinian, and 15±3 km3 DRE co-ignimbrite ash. A colder, drier climate is modelled after the eruption, influencing the carbon cycle by increasing plant productivity (NPP). Atmospheric C02 gets removed while about 13 Gt carbon is taken up mainly by tropical soil reservoirs. C3 and C4 plants, here an analogy for crops, show that C3 productivity increases, while reduced C4 productivity potentially leads to negative C4 crop yields. The same eruption in a future climate would result in lower N-American temperature anomalies in contrast to the past eruption, likely due to a higher pressure region bringing cold Arctic air onto the continent, and a larger sea-ice extent anomaly increasing the albedo in this region. Regionally, more extreme (positive and negative) precipitation anomalies are found , as well as larger negative temperature anomalies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available